Before Zane and I were ‘Intended Parents’ or ‘that couple behind the Not My Tummy blog’, we were just Zane and Baden (Zaden to certain friends!). In fact, until about a year ago, we were fairly private about our fertility journey. While we’ve always dreamed of having children, there’s a whole lot more to know about us than that. This post is dedicated to us as people who have lives, hobbies, interests and passions that extend far beyond fertility.
Let’s start at the beginning of our story as a couple. We met in Ottawa while studying at Carleton University (Go Ravens!). I was finishing my first year in the Journalism program when I decided to run for a position on the school’s Board of Governors as an undergraduate representative. It was a long shot. I had basically zero connections in student politics, but it felt like the right move – I’ve always been interested in community volunteer work and felt that I may meet some interesting people by throwing my name into the race. Zane, a second-year student studying Public Affairs and Policy Management, had similar ambitions. Unfortunately for me, he was by far the more qualified candidate in the race and I lost. Fortunately for me, he invited me for a friendly coffee afterwards and nine years later here we are.
Outside of his mischievous grin and fantastic culinary abilities, there were a number of things that have always drawn me to Zane. They’re the same reasons why our friends adore him too. While he’ll playfully tease anyone he loves (he’s a big brother to two sisters, which is where it comes from), he will also drop what he’s doing immediately to go support a friend or family member in need. He is reliable and mature, but has a zest for adventure. Scuba diving? Loves it. Skiing? He used it teach it to kids with special needs. CN Tower EdgeWalk? It’s on his bucket list. He needs to find someone to go with him, because I wouldn’t be caught dead at any altitude above a stepstool.
Zane also has a memory like an elephant, often recalling details from conversations years later to weave into thoughtful gestures for others. This memory also serves him well on road trips to our cottage on summer weekends – the lyrics are always correct when he sings along to the radio. He grew up on his parent’s classic rock, but has a soft spot for jazz music, country music and campfire classics. For me, if it isn’t Billy Joel or Paul Simon, you can bet I’m loudly stumbling along through every song.
As for me – Zane often says that I’m the ‘silly one’ of the two of us. I love to laugh, and it doesn’t take a lot to make me smile. Most of our friends refer to me as a ‘golden retriever’, a nickname I’ve earned because I’m an extrovert and am happiest around other people. Like Zane, I enjoy traveling and good food, but my guilty pleasure differs from his – even though I don’t watch reality TV shows, I love keeping up with reality stars in the news.
We’ve recently purchased our first house together, a renovated 1950s bungalow in North York, and are busy deciding on furniture and getting ourselves ready for the move. I’m about 90% excited and 10% stressed, which is pretty typical of how I approach any major changes in life. Zane is looking forward to the move, but is a little overwhelmed by the idea of packing to get ready for it. Dodi, our puppy, doesn’t know how good she’s about to have it – she loves visiting other people’s backyards, so I know she’s going to love running in circles on our new lawn.
Zane’s love for public policy has led him to a career in politics, while my studies in journalism and health communications has lead to a career in health marketing and communications (I now work for an organization focused on children’s mental health). We’ve both been working from home since the onset of the pandemic, but have made the most of it by making our way through Netflix, prioritizing sushi delivery, and taking a healthy amount of walks outside.
From June to September, we are a cottage-on-the-weekend family. We’re eagerly awaiting the warmer weather so we can dip toes in the Georgian Bay water and put burgers on the BBQ. The cottage is an especially joyful place for us because of how overfilled it is – with laughter, people, and too many pairs of flip flops crowding the doors. This summer in particular our weekends will be a welcome distraction from all of the things we have on our plates.
I’m looking forward to sharing more about Zane and I as individuals and as a couple as the months go on. If you want to learn more about us please reach out (the golden retriever in me will be thrilled!). To write about infertility, IVF, and surrogacy without giving the context of who its affecting is only telling half of the story. This is a snap shot of who we are – and we can’t wait to share even more with you.